Open IPTV Forum Published HTML5 Standard For Connected TV

  • Posted on: 1 July 2013
  • By: Patrick Oliphant

Through a major collaborative effort the Open TV Forum has updated and published a new HTML profile for developers of Connected TVs.  The forum hopes that by providing clean and open standards for the smart TV platform it will accelerate the creation of a mass market for IPTV.  Supported by most of the major consumer electronics manufacturers, the standard defines the base specification for end-to-end IPTV devices and services of the future.

From an hardware stand point the development of television has gone through many iteration and is more or less standardised, but the drive to take television further by making it smarter has create another challenge. That is to decide on what the base-standard and technology should be and look like.  Thus the creation of the Open IPTV Forum, which was founded by: TP Vision, Samsung, Orange, Ericsson, Sony and Telecom Italia, it now has over 50 members from across the globe.

The use of the W3C web programming standards and technologies were selected as the base specification. It incorporated CSS, DOM3 and HTML5 (the latest HTML standards) and other web related technologies that could support the Connected TV platform. The forum published their first version of the connected TV specification in 2009 but according to Jon Piesing of TP Vision, web standards have moved on since, thus requiring and updated specification.

The new specification lays the foundation for the creation of new and exciting products and services for the connected TV.  According the Forum, the new profile avoids extension or modifications to any of the referenced W3C technologies, but defines a subset of those specifications that have achieved a high degree of stability.  The functionality chosen is specifically targeted to support interoperability between entertainment services and connected TVs.

“This work represents a broad update of our browser specification to be based on the new generation of Web specifications, not just HTML5 but also CSS3, DOM3 and a variety of other related technologies”, said Piesing. “This update should enable apps and services for connected TVs to be developed relying on the presence of a coherent and consistent set of up-to-date technologies. It should make it easier to re-use tools and libraries developed for the web when developing for connected TVs.”

The OPIF specifications are also being adopted by complementary groups including HbbTV – the regional standard that has been agreed by European broadcasters for Hybrid TV solutions.  A forthcoming device certification and IOT (Internet Of Things) program will see the OIPF logo appearing on numerous services and devices.